by Dane McGuire
As MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko nears the end of his career, he recently named Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader his ideal opponent as. He seeks to redeem himself after a 35-second KO loss to bader in 2019.
Bader hasn’t shut the door, but isn’t rushing to fight Fedor again. The victory made Bader the Bellator heavyweight champion and a victory in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. He feels those accomp[lisgments will be hard to top.
“I love Fedor,” Bader said on The Fighter vs. The Writer (per MMAFighting).
“I think he’s a great competitor and a great person, too. I have nothing but great interactions with him. But on your line of thinking, it’s kind of the same way. I knocked him out in, what, 36 seconds in the grand prix finals for the heavyweight championship. It can’t get any better than that. So will I fight him? Yeah, if it makes sense.”
Essentially, the king of the mountain has everything to lose in the event of a second fight. However, he also noted that every athlete has a price.
“You go into that fight, it’s definitely a lose-lose situation,” Bader said. “Yeah you beat him, you’re supposed to beat him. You lose, you lost to him in Moscow in his final fight. It’s always a big fight with Fedor.
“We’ll get with Bellator and see what we can do to make it a little win for me to go to Moscow, to fight Fedor in Russia, all that kind of stuff. There’s always an upside somewhere. Just need to find that.”
“I’m talking around it, but that’s exactly what I’m talking about,” Bader said when asked if more money would get him interested in the rematch. “That’s the one win out of that situation.
“It’s a big fight regardless but with that being his final fight, get a lot of eyeballs. It would be fun, but make it make sense,” Bader said.
At the moment though, Bader is set to defend his belt in a rematch with Bellator’s No. 2 heavyweight, Cheick Kongo. Kongo’s first bout with Bader ended in a No Contest following an accidental eye poker by Bader.
The champion most recently defeated Valentin Moldavsky by unanimous decision (48-47 x3) at Bellator 273 on January 29.
“That’s a left turn right there,” Bader said in a video provided by MMA Fighting. “I thought for sure it was going to be Fedor in Russia and all that kind of stuff. I mean, unfinished business, right? I always wanted to get that fight back. He was talking so much s—t after I poked him in the eye. I’m like, ‘Dude, there’s video of you wincing and it’s in your nose.’ And then again, he came out last fight with, ‘I’ll beat your ass in Paris,’ and all this bulls—t. Whatever. So, yeah. I like that fight. I’ve been asking for that fight forever. I wanted to run that back before I was going down to light heavyweight. So now we get to do it.